Department ofLanguages & Literatures

Falling in Love with the German Language. A Connection with Culture.

“I was actually in high school as an exchange student in Austria in my junior year when I began learning German. I fell in love with the language, and came back to the U.S. There was no question that I would continue learning it.

“I was just thrilled with the feeling of saying something in a tongue that you’re not used to. I love to communicate with people, so that’s probably why I’m a theater major as well. I know that Spanish and theater is a weird combo. But I’m interested in teaching, and I could see myself working in the tourist or travel industry abroad.

“I’ve often thought of that teaching has an entertainment element to it too. I’m the German RA in Hong Hall. I think it’s important not to let languages be a barrier to us. I think you can have a more intimate experience with people because you know their language.”

-Bristol Whalen, German and theater double major, 10

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“I started studying German through the Spokane Falls Community College. I had taken the class just to get the requirement out of the way first in high school and then at the community college, but then I fell in love with the language.

“I think it’s critically important that if you want to understand a different culture, you must understand their language.

“Last spring, I was in Berlin for a semester. I would say that is a wonderful experience, expect for when I got the flu. My vocabulary was strikingly deficient in describing flu symptoms. Those aren’t the words you learn in German class.”

-April Reiter, German major, 08

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